Sunday, March 6, 2011

DIY: Water Catchment

With last year's floods, heat, and drought still visible in the landscape, it may be difficult to remember that just the year before was only moderately warm and consistently wet.   That being our first year at Ecotone, Jennifer set about quickly try to manage this resource from the sky by installing several water catchment bins on the north side of the house.  With spring well nigh, it's time to begin again to think about water for the future.  Our neighbor and good farmer friend - Jonathan Smith of Happily Ever After Farm -  recently asked about how to reduce the two inch output of these bins to a standard garden hose, and so I thought I'd post the photos we took back in 2009 as the first in a series of DIY projects we've completed that may be of assistance to homesteaders and small farmers.  

The first step, of course, is to acquire some type of catchment bin.  We got these bins off Craigslist, and if you're looking for something similar just be sure to ask about what was in them, and try to confirm that they are food grade quality.  The next step is to direct your gutters into the bin as in the photo above.  
Next comes the tricky part.  In the photo above you'll see the various pieces needed to go from the two inch valve to a garden hose connector.  (As soon as I can find their particular measurements, I'll put them here.)  The final assembly is below.
Once you've gotten this far, you're almost done!  Clean and glue the plumbing pieces, and don't forget to apply Teflon tape to the large male threads on which you'll place the reducer.  Let it dry, connect your hose, and move some water!
Since these photos were taken, we've elevated the bins so as to get more pressure in the hose.  The final photo is from a friend's house who has really perfected the technique of catching, saving, and using rainwater.  He's got various food grade containers, and if you're interested I can put you in touch. 

1 comment:

  1. Hey C.J.,
    Those containers look great. We use the same. Keep in mind that the plastic used in those cisterns is not UV protected. We keep ours wrapped in a plastic tarp. If you don't do that the plastic will become brittle in sunlight and break, usually in about 24 months. Keep up the cool work.